Wimbledon 2011: Andy Murray v Rafael Nadal analysis

Wimbledon Championships

Venue:
All England Club, London
Date:
20 June-3 July
Coverage:
Live on BBC One, Two, 3D, HD, Red Button, online (UK only), Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra; live text commentary from 0900 BST on BBC Sport website (#bbctennis); watch again on iPlayer
Andy Murray with Rafael Nadal

Three-time Wimbledon champions Boris Becker and John McEnroe, Andy Murray's former coach Miles Maclagan and former Great Britain Davis Cup captain John Lloyd analyse the British number one's 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-4 semi-final defeat by defending champion Rafael Nadal.

Murray made 39 unforced errors to Nadal's seven

Maclagan: "With the unforced error count there are a lot of grey areas but I think these numbers do show what Nadal does - he puts relentless pressure on you.

"Andy did the right thing to start out very aggressively but it is hard to maintain that for such a long time in a five-set match and with the risks you have to take more errors are going to come.

"A big part of that sort of strategy is accepting those errors but there is no better player than Nadal to force you into them.

"Part of that is because his error count is so low. He gives you nothing and makes you work for everything you earn, hence these numbers."

Did that missed shot at the start of the second set change the match?

Becker: "Missing that forehand at 15-30 on Nadal's serve in the second set was obviously the key moment in the match, but it shouldn't have been. One point should not stop you playing for a further 45 minutes. It was a blown opportunity for Andy.

Andy Murray

"He lost it, not technically, but mentally. That missed opportunity affected him emotionally and mentally far too much and that simply can't happen. In a semi-final you only get small opportunities and if you get upset too much, your chance is shot."

McEnroe: "His attitude just went so downhill after that missed forehand. Everything he talked about feeling more positive went out of the window.

"If he is hurting he should look at his leg and call the trainer and leave the court if he has to.

"But you have got to get this crowd going. The crowd were feeding off his negativity. He has got to make them believe that he believes he can win the match. The part that really disappointed me is that it turned on a dime - why?

Lloyd: "It did hinge on that forehand as Murray lost the next seven games, but it shouldn't have. If you reverse the situation and if it happened to Nadal it would have lasted for about 30 seconds.

"At this level you can't let those sort of points worry you. The whole momentum went, he was playing so beautifully it dropped alarmingly quickly."

Maclagan: "It is a good example of the sort of tennis Rafa makes you play.

"There is no question that Andy went bigger on that point against Rafa than he would have done against other players. He would have just rolled the ball over, but he went for the winner and he missed.

"It did seem to turn the momentum of the match but you can't say he would have gone on to win it if he had made that shot because Rafa had a lot of fight left in him."

Did Murray get his tactics wrong?

Maclagan: "I really like the way he started the match by going for it. He came out and his message was that he was here to win.

"He started out serve-volleying a lot but that disappeared as the match went on. That is something he could have done more of. Also, he played some high-risk shots but the one area he didn't risk was maybe in coming forward when he was on top in rallies.

"When Nadal is so far back and making those unbelievable gets, sometimes he needs to take a chance and come in to cut them off on the volley and give himself a bit breathing space.

"For me, those were the two areas that he faded in as the match went away from him."

What next for Murray?

Becker: "He can only improve by putting himself back on the line in a competitive environment. If the problem is coping with tough situations that is exactly where you need to be - you need to be back out there.

"I think the mistake he made after losing this year's Australian Open final was to take too much time off. If he was my player I would send him out there as soon as possible and throw him back into competition."

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Despondent Murray admits need to improve

Lloyd: "He has got to improve the intensity he showed in the first set over a longer period.

"I'm not sure how he is going to do it, but he needs to work harder and harder and mentally fight himself so that he doesn't lose his belief no matter what happens.

"He needs a top-class coach to keep drumming that into him all the time and get on his case."

Maclagan: "I think he needs to try and be more attacking more of the time because then it becomes a habit.

"If it is not your usual style you can't - whether it is Andy or anyone else - suddenly turn things on in the final or semi-finals of a Grand Slam.

"The way you play is almost a way of life, rather than tactics. Look at Rafa, people talk about his tactics but I'm not so sure he has any. He has just got his way of playing and thinks 'well, I'm the best in the world and if I play my way, I am going to win most of the time' - which he does.

"That's where it is difficult for Andy because he does have options - he can rally and he can serve-volley - but it takes time to put either properly into place.

"But in my opinion the first set was great and I think he needs to ingrain that kind of aggressive approach into his regular style."

McEnroe: "He has got to try harder in the tougher moments. That's what makes Nadal so great - you have got to dig in."

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